December 29, 2010

The Merry Xmas Song

Pink Floyd, 1975

Well, that was special.  Christmas 2010, I mean.  Quite simply, it was exhausting.   While I enjoyed.the holiday season, the actual days of festivities broke me.  I hosted back-to-back gatherings and I am rarely referred to as "grace under fire".    For example, I may have snipped a bit at my mom when I was searching for the perfect bowl and she pointed out a plastic bowl and I might have, possibly, snapped that I wanted Christmas to be nice and that we were going to eat out of nice dishes for a change.

It could be true I did that.  Maybe.

So.  Okay.  You get the picture now.

Thankfully, Santa stopped by, slipped through our house like a fucking ninja and saved the whole day.

Magic Reindeer Food, FTW!

Arun Man
The Ultimate Toy From Santa - Arun asked for this thing ALL YEAR LONG. 

Sing it!
Anju got screwed over by a reindeer.....
No....we didn't make her walk home on Christmas Eve. 

From Santa, poor girl had repeatedly requested a Princess Peach, a "disco star" and a remote-controlled cake.  I had NO idea what a "disco star" was, but discovered just the day before Christmas that she meant the Star power-up from Super Mario Bros. Oops. So, I got her a Madame Alexander doll thinking that was a such sweet, traditional thing to get from Santa.  Yeah.  Who was I trying to fool.  Anjali ignored the doll until Sunday night, tucked her into bed and promptly took off and has yet to check in to see if the doll is thirsty or in need of say, AFFECTION.  What sort of mother is THAT? 

Anyway.  I should have known about the Star power-up since I call that move the Disco Mario.  Huh.  I never figured out the remote-controlled cake, though. And yes, she noticed that Santa forgot to bring that as well.  I have T-minus 362 days to figure it out before next year.

Wooden Dolls on the Suburban Prairie
MUCH better.
THIS is what Santa should have brought her.

You say Ice Queen
I say Fashion Victim
Rita will chuckle at this snap since a good 75% of the outfit was cobbled together by hand-me-downs from her daughter.
Christmas Glow
I asked him if he was happy and this smile was his response.

Thanks for making it all worth it.

Both of you..

December 21, 2010

Wish You Were Here.

Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here 1975

I have been meaning to post. But like, wow.  This has been an amazing holiday season, folks.  But first, let me preface with what I have learned this season.

If you are not feeling the Christmas spirit, let it go.  There are always other years.

However, if are feeling the Christmas spirirt, then embrace and go Girls Gone Wild with it.  You may not feel this way next year.

Just call me your Christmas Confucius.  You are welcome.

Last year was so bad.  So very, very bad.  I was so busy working on the now defunct Snapgifts that I did the bare minimum of Christmas Pageantry.  However, this year everything is simply perfect. It helps that we have had loads of free time.  And also, the Team of Chaos are like real people now. Really! They are no longer mutants with non-working legs and a strong propensity to crap in their pants.  Nope, these days they can walk of their own accord and use toilets.  Like humans.  For another, they understand the whole Christmas Thing now.  And oh my, it is so much goddamned fun having miniature humans in this house who believe with all their souls that Santa is real.  The flurry of activity around here with markers and papers is hilarious.

I never want to forget this past month - mostly, it has been simply magical and special and delicious.  Of course, having a small cache of kifli smothered in powdered sugar has not hurt.

Exhibit A: A small portion of Arun's Christmas "List"

That is a frog in a cage.  A toy frog, thank the baby lord jesus.

Bowser from Super Mario Bros. and a robot spider (because a real, live tarantula is not enough for my greedy boy who craves batteries like heroin.)

What?  I have to tell you that is an IronMan mask?  Really?  Have you NO imagination?

The best part is that with each successive Santa he meets, Arun changes his list in a desperate attempt to get more lootage.  He has figured out the scam and is trying to work the system to his advantage.  That's my boy, doing me proud.

Exhibit B: Advent Calendars Galore

Some looped garland thing made at school.  Anjali tried to use hers as a leash for the dog.

A tree drawn on a piece of paper with dates on it.  He circles the date every morning, then crosses it off at night.  He does not laugh or giggle or get goofy with it.  This is serious business, folks.  And the marker must be a consistent shade of green or there is hell to pay.

A calendar that I bought years and years and years ago while dreaming of having a husband and matching kids around to hang the ornaments.  Sniff.

Every morning, Arun hops out of bed and updates every single calendar.  Even the garland thing that Anjali gave up on long ago.  He carefully marks his paper tree, cuts loops from the garlands and hangs a wee ornament every morning.  This is fascinating to observe because normally, Arun is grumpy when he wakes up and takes about 30 minutes to reach Human Status.  Christmas miracles, indeed.

Exhibit C: Our Annual Trip to Union Station and Crown Center

Items Missing From These Exhibits:
  • The gingerbread house carefully handcrafted with a hot-glue gun.  Martha Stewart has probably issued a warrant for my arrest as we speak.  Although, in my defense, I do live in Kansas and that house could now withstand an F5, in addition to a hungry West Highland terrier.
  • A huge pile of wrapped gifts from Arun hidden in his bedroom (at least, he thinks they are hidden.)  He holes up in his bedroom with paper, markers, wrapping paper and scotch tape while he handwraps his "creations".  At this point, Santa is getting two presents and even the fish is one lucky duck.  He sneaks next door and proudly hands over his latest creation to our neighbor while declaring "Special delivery for Zech!
  • I do have a picture in the Christmas 2010 set I have started from our our excursion to the Liberty Hall Christmas Tree Festival.  We do the festival every year with my mom and sister and cousins.  It is a lovely way to start off the holiday season.
  • A visit to Bass Pro and Santa and a visit to their craft area which resulted in a beautiful fishing bobber Santa ornament decorated with cotton balls.
  • Decorating gingerbread cookies.  This is HUGE.  I have never, ever done this.  Sure, I used a tub of pre-made dough (Yes! Nestle!) but considering how deathly allergic I am to baking, this is ground-breaking.  I even broke out the fancy pastry mat.
  • Multiple special excursions in the car to look at Christmas lights.
  • Sending out Christmas Cards - I was on-time with cards this year!  I will never forget that dark, dark January of 2008 when I had a 6month old baby and a recently-minted 2 year old while I was in the wily grasp of post-partum depression - I actually discovered a huge stack of Christmas cards lurking in a drawer.  They were addressed, but were not sealed and had no stamps.
  • The look on my face over this past weekend when I received not one, but TWO Christmas gifts from Brit.  Both of which were incredibly thoughtful, unique gifts which made me cry.  The nerve!  I need to rethink this friendship thing if she is going to make me cry TWICE in a single weekend. Rude.
  • The look on my face when CPA Mom sent me an extra copy of the Charlie Brown Christmas special she "had laying around".  In one fell swoop with a Random Act of Undeserved Kindness, she completely turned around a really bad week I had been having. Speaking of rude.  Ahem.
  • The look on my face when I realized the other day that I had vastly underestimated the amount of continuing education hours I need to complete by the end of year to keep my CPA license intact. Sarbanes-Oxley, ahoy and a Merry Christmas!
  • The look on my face when I discovered that Angry Birds Seasons was finally, finally available for the PalmPre. No worries, I will show those bastard, cloven-hooved swine who is boss.
  • The look on my face when Manoj gave me some incredibly good news regarding his latest business incarnation - a business that has to do with colonoscopy prep so I call it the Butthole Business.  Because I am classy like that.  Hey, you can marry the girl off to an Indian, slap on the name  of George, but she will still always be an Oliver. Always.
  • Attending Average Jane's Annual Cookie Exchange and having a blast gorging on cookies, watching Bad(er) Santa and having some girl time - a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. To boot, I plied Celeste with wine and somehow convinced her that she should inherit Team Chaos in the event that Manoj and I get eaten by a roving band of rabid squirrels (which considering my archives, is not so far-fetched.)  I also found a potential home for Lucy in the event of our demise (thanks, LuAnn!) Suckers! Now, I just need to track down spots for the fish, the gecko, the cats and the tarantula, then find a lawyer and make this all official-like. 
  • Enjoying Arun and Anjali's Christmas concert at their school.  Nothing like a group of wee tots terrorized in the spotlight, barely whispering Rudulph.  Arun insisted on wearing his Santa hat, even on stage and was the only kid wearing a Santa hat.  His spot in the Kingdom of Total Dorkitude is assured.
  • Repeating viewings of our favorite Christmas movies (including, but not limited to): Elf, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Robbie the Reindeer.  I still need to squeeze in Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story.  The clock is a' ticking so I best get my rump in action.
  • Repeated readings of our favorite Christmas books (including, but not limited to) Olive the Other Reindeer, Snowmen at Christmas, The Snowglobe Family, Mooseltoe and now, thanks to Brit, The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas.
  • Lighting all the candles on the mantle, getting a good fire going, then turning on the Christmas tree lights and just sitting quietly.  Relishing.  My house will never be Martha Stewart Ready.  But it will always be my home.  And that is more important to me.

We still have an outing planned to see the Country Club Plaza lights and I have another tub of gingerbread dough in the refrigerator.  Presents still need to be wrapped and the house needs to be scoured before guests arrive Friday night.  However, I have plenty of time to do all of this.


My grandma handed down this heavy stained glass and iron tree to me years ago.  There were many years in college and after when I simply could not afford a Christmas tree and this little luminary had to make do.  If I put only one decoration up on my mantle, it will always be this tree because of what it has come to represent to me.

Merry Christmas to all of you and make the most of whatever you have.

Having my babies, good food and a warm home is more than enough for me.

December 15, 2010

High Hopes

Pink Floyd, The Division Bell 1994

Note: We are having a spectacular holiday season this year.  I do have a post lurking in my gray matter about all of the silliness and fun that we are having.  Today's post is a little somber for me, but these are feelings that weigh so heavily on my heart, I need to let them out.  I promise my next post will lighter in nature.

A plate of Romanian/Hungarian kifli eye the nearby bottle of Indian Maggi sauce with concern as they wait patiently for a romp in a bowl of powdered sugar. 

Long time friends, followers, lurkers, readers, foes, frenemies know that baking is not my forte.  Oh sure, in an odd turn of events, I make a kickass crème brulée, but when it comes to things that involve flour and baking soda and baking powder and trying to determine when to blend, when to mix, when to fold, it inevitably becomes a disaster while figuring out how clean that knife was before I stuck it in the middle and seriously, folks how dark of brown can we go before it burns????

Oh sure, occasionally, my baking attempts are edible. That is, if you scrape off the burnt edges or do not mind eating cake with a spoon.

I am not a crazy sweets person, but when I find something I like, I die a little inside (See also: fruitcake from Andres, my grandma's peanut brittle and the cheesecake made from scratch by my friend Celeste. Oh, and plain white wedding cake with buttercream frosting.  When folks choose weird wedding cakes, it makes me want to steal their gift back.)

Quite simply, food and baking have never been a grand holiday tradition in my family - my parents were always about the music, lights and the Christmas tree (the best was when we would trudge through our own property to find the perfect tree.  Oh yes, I complained at the time, but now I treasure that memory with my dad.)

Years and years and years ago, my friend Jolene gave me a box of Christmas cookies.  They were Romanian Christmas cookies, also known as kifli, and they came from a recipe handed down through her family, back from before her great-grandma had even come to this country.  These cookies were so very awesome, they melted in my mouth, a bit of heaven (even for an agnostic like me.)  Not too sweet but a bit too rich, they are a lovely, rolled cookie with a cream cheese dough and a fruity filling, covered in powdered sugar.  I raved about these cookies so much, that it became a tradition for Jolene and her mom to send me a box nearly every year.

A few years ago, Manoj and I went on a great adventure to learn how to make them ourselves.  Jolene would not give me the recipe and insisted on sending me the cookies instead (that is typical Jolene, always wanting to do for others.)  Still, Manoj and I wanted to try our hand at these, so  I enlisted the help of a Romanian co-worker and found a recipe. (Updated!  I have written down the recipe I now use. ) I use this Kifli II Recipe at (Note: For some reason, I always end up with too much filling, so I make an extra set of dough.)  It is slightly different than my friend's recipe, but it works.  For several years, it took Manoj and I all we had to just make a single batch, and we'd end up with only enough for us to consume, certainly nothing we would give away.  Our kifli were ugly with the insides often oozing out, but they were still edible.

This year, I set myself up to major goal.  I was going to make enough kifli to give away, to take to Celeste's annual cookie exchange and in particular, enough to send to Jolene.

Jolene is my friend who was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in mid-2008.  She is still fighting this cancer, but she is quite sick most of the time.  I am not sure if she will have the energy to make these cookies.  This is why it became an all-encompassing goal to me that I MAKE THE KIFLI.  For her.  For her husband.  For her mother.  For her daughter who will celebrate her 3rd birthday this month.

On Sunday, I got out the new hand-mixer I had bought - just a simple Oster, but it has dough hooks - so, so, so important (as I had learned the hard way in past years!)  I had decided to triple the filling recipe and to quadruple the dough - this meant that I would be making 16 dozen cookies.  I got the dough ready to go, portioned out smaller balls of it, wrapped them in plastic wrap and set them in the garage to chill over night.

On Monday, I got out the detailed instructions and illustrations that Jolene's mother sent me last year, I set up my newly purchased Norpro pastry mat (LOVE.) and I got to work immediately.  Rolling, rolling.... filling, filling....baking, baking.  All day long, I stood at my counter, rolling kifli after kifli after kifli.

And all day long, I thought of my friend.  I think of her every day, this is not uncommon.  But the act of making this cookie for her, this treasured cookie that has spawned so many family memories that she has shared with me made me teary-eyed throughout the day.  I thought of our all-night study sessions as under-grads, when we would get so sleep-deprived and begin giggling for no reason. I thought of how she would borrow my driver's license so she could go out with her friends.  I thought of how for years, she signed my Christmas and birthday cards as "Kelli Oliver".  I thought of our roadtrip when we moved her to Phoenix and how I drove her and her brother crazy with my non-stop talking in the tight, cramped car.  I thought of our many trips to Vegas and the late nights at the roulette table, the early mornings at Denny's.  I thought of her wedding, the chaos and how I acted a bit like a brat during part of it.

I thought of how a weird, bizarre misunderstanding between us led to a year and half of not talking and how she reached out to me through a Christmas card, after which, we reconnected.

In my Christmas card to her this year, I apologized for acting like such a brat in the past.

I don't talk much of my friend here.  It rings falsely maudlin to talk about my feelings regarding her cancer.  Good grief, how presumptuous of me, right?  Right.  However, I did want to talk of her today because I wanted to remember the day when I finally realized exactly how baking can be such an act of love, what all of those stupid Pillsbury commercials are getting at.  Why it is such a important ritual in so many families.  When Arun helped me measure and mix and pour and roll, I began to see it.  When he later thanked me for making those kifli and told me how much he loved them, that is when it clicked for me.  This baking thing.

I hope Jolene will be able to make her family's Romanian kifli this year with her daughter.  I hope someday, she will discover that her daughter had a kifli fight with her friends by blowing powdered sugar all over the house (just as Jolene's brother did so many years ago, a memory shared with me, a memory I still laugh at.)

I hope Jolene will make the kifli with her daughter next year and the next year and the year after......

I hope.

December 8, 2010


Pink Floyd, Atom Heart Mother 1970

My Pakistani ex-boyfriend used to pinch my cheeks and call me "golgappa"Golgappa (or pani puri) are little, fried flour "balloons".  You poke a hole in them, then fill them with a spicy, sour water and a few bits of channa (chickpea).  This ex-boyfriend called me golgappa because I have round cheeks and a fierce temper.  A temper that he encouraged - he even taught me a fair amount of curse words in Urdu (gaalis) to accompany this temper.  For all that I can complain about that ex-boyfriend, I am glad that he appreciated my independence, my outspokenness. 

And yes, it was no small irony when 18 years later while pregnant by my very Indian husband, I found myself craving golgappa like crazy.  I was running to the Indian chaat place throughout the week - I would simply think of golgappa and my mouth would water and there was a yearning inside, deep inside, for that spicy, sour concoction.  I remember one time showing up and finding out they did not have golgappa that day. I thought I was going to cry.

Anyway!  I know that Manoj appreciates my independence as well.  By the time we married, I had already owned a house by myself and in general, have always been far more knowledgeable on sensible things of that nature. We have a running joke where if we are bickering, I will retort "If you had wanted a sweet, docile simpleton for a wife, you should have had your mummy pick you out a nice Indian Girl from the Internet."  Of course, we start laughing because we both know damned well that the "simpleton" part of the Indian Girl Stereotype is so very wrong.  Gentle Reader, if you ever meet an Indian Girl in a dark alley, I suggest you run the opposite direction.  Quicker than you can say "docile", that Indian Girl will whip her sari to the side and cut you like a little bitch. 

Ah, but I kid Indian Girls.  I hope they don't mind.  Ahem.


Mostly, I am okay with being the responsible party.  I enjoy making the decisions, being the person in our house who contacts repair people, who deals with service folks. Quite simply, I like being in charge. Sometimes, though, I wish I could sit back and let Manoj take care of things.  I dream of a being That Girl who has a Manly Man who does things around the house.

And then yesterday happened.

I had run to the grocery store for emergency run of garlic (because yes, if we run out of garlic, I cannot cook.)  On my way home, I got a call from Manoj asking for an ETA.  Immediately, alarm bells stand on high alert.  Turns out, there was a salesmen.  In......our.....HOUSE


Manoj does not do well with salesmen and when one comes to our house, I will trip over my own damned feet in a mad dash to beat him to the door.  He is such a bleeding heart, so completely and utterly vulnerable to the heartless ambush of a salesman. And his heart bleeds more copiously as the outside temperature drops (seriously, who the hell goes door to door in 30 degree weather??!!)  Oh, and if the salesman is under 3 feet tall?  Even better.  Sucker!

With all of this in mind, I put all the ponies under my car's hood to work in a vain attempt at averting disaster.

Too late. 

In two weeks, we are changing cable providers. A deal that means we are going from a single, quad-tuner DVR with ATT U-Verse to TWO SEPARATE, dual-tuner DVRs with SureWest.  Keeping in mind, that Manoj does not entirely understand how to even set up a season pass on our current DVR and realistically, does not quite understand the ramifications of essentially having TWO separate systems in DIFFERENT rooms in our house.  Despite all of my logical arguments that our current system was just fine, fine, no really!

After the sales guy left, Manoj sort of tip-toed around me the rest of the evening in an attempt to mollify me, pointing out that we can get Showtime as I have always wanted (Nancy Botwin! Dexter! At last!).  It worked.  While I am not happy about changing providers (and figuring out how I am going to watch a ridiculous number of shows stockpiled on the old DVR, shows I was saving for the dead airspace that accompanies the holidays), I did appreciate that he realized that I gave the saleman a run for his money and ultimately, saved us a bit more money. 

The next time I groan because I am saddled with yet another responsibility in this house, I am going to remember the vision of that salesman sitting in my dining room, enjoying a beverage, relatively secure in the knowledge that he had already convinced my husband of this so-called great deal.   Sure, I gave the guy a hard time, but half the battle is getting into the house, right?


December 6, 2010

Any Colour You Like

Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon 1973

I have always said that kids do, indeed, notice the color of one's skin.  They just do not assign a value to it.  Ah yes, it is up to us adults to instill that in our children.  Start 'em early, that's what I say.

To be sure, Gentle Reader, when your mother is obviously 10 shades paler than your father, you tend to notice.  When your mother has a sense of humor that is obviously 10 degrees more wicked than your father's, you notice.  And then, you take notes.

When all else fails, we find comfort in humor, right?  And yes, Manoj has learned to be somewhat wicked in his humor.  I suppose living with me for all of these years would break even the most purest at heart.  This would be the spot where I openly admit we enjoy teasing our children that we are going to give them to new families (in addition to the idle threats involving transactions with roving bands of gypsies.)  And, to be fair, we mix up the colors of the mama and daddy pair.  Sometimes, both parents are brown, sometimes both white.  Sometimes mixed, with a switcheroo on the particular ethnic pairings. Always, our kids giggle, because they know we are teasing.  And as Anjali emphatically declares "NO, I want a white mama and a brown daddy."

Manoj and I will not know for a long, long time if we are doing the right thing when it comes to discussing race, color and ethnicity with our children.  But I do know that I want the dialogue to be open, because that is the most important piece in all of this. 

This morning, Arun and I were at breakfast together.  I love these meals, just the two us while Anjali is at school.  As Arun dug thoughtfully into his pancake, he struck up the following conversation:

Arun: Mama, is India where all the brown people come from?
Me: Um.  Not really.  There are brown people everywhere.  And there are even white people in India.
Arun: Really? Cool!

At this point, I realize this might be a good place to start a small, watered-down discussion of racism.

Me: Also, did you know that there are some people who don't like other people just because they are brown.  Can you imagine?  Not liking someone just because they are brown?

Keeping in mind that "not liking someone" is serious, not-be-trifled-with business to a 5 year old.

Arun's eyes grow big.

Arun: Really?!  Do some people not like white people because they are white?
Me: Yes, that happens, too.  And someday, Arun, you might hear someone say something not nice about Daddy or brown people.  What do you think you would say if heard someone say that?
Arun: That it is stupid.
Me:  Yes, it IS stupid.
Arun:  Well, what about Daddy's friend, Tom?  He is brown. Do some people not like him because he is brown?
Me: Sure, I bet someone out there is really jealous of his awesome tan.

At this point, I start laughing.  At all of it.  My 5 year old boy's sweet, pure innocence and the fact that a man with a kick-ass tan is still considered "white".  And let me be clear - stupid is not a bad word in our house. It is not allowed to be directed towards people, but it allowed to be directed towards actions and ideas.  The thought that someone would denigrate someone based on skin color IS stupid.  I am not going to lie to my kid just to appease the Word Police who would have all of us ban a perfectly good word from our vocabulary.

I ended the conversation by telling Arun that he is both white and brown.  Sure, my boy could have probably passed for a White Man With A Damned Fine Tan, but no - instead, we saddled him with his phonetically-challenged name thus permanently stamping his differences. This morning, I did not make a big deal about his Mixed Palette Status, I just casually mentioned it and he did not question it.  We finished our breakfast and moved on to bigger and better topics.  Namely, which flavor of bubblegum he would get to purchase as we checked out.  He is 5 years old, after all.  There will be plenty of other opportunities for me to explain the far more serious ramifications of racism.

And in the meantime, I will continue to secretly hope those things will not exist down the line.

December 2, 2010

Coming Back to Life

Pink Floyd, The Division Bell 1979

And yes, I realize that to many Floyd Fiends that a Pink Floyd sans Roger Waters is NOT an authentic Pink Floyd but rather, some severely diluted, puerile version of what had formerly held one of the most amazing song-writers in rock history.  Ahem. Still, I have enjoyed the Gilmour-led Pink Floyd - my main complaint is that the group has  not continued to evolve or create anything new, per se, but I do still enjoy their later albums.


I am in a catching up spot here.  I have a few things I want to get out of my crammed attic for a brain.  In the next few posts, expect nothing more than a disjointed rambling of words loosely held together by the laws of grammar.  I am going to blame the stomach virus we had last week.  Or rather, the Thanksgiving Special, a limited engagement in which I formed an intimate, enduring relationship with my toilet. 

Let no man tear us asunder.  


Of course, Manoj was unaffected by the Thanksgiving Special, he of intestinal fortitude worthy of his Sub-Continental Asian ancestors. Arun and his demi-desi colors shone through and he was only slightly queasy on the big day itself.  Anjali?  Her demi-desi credentials are currently suspect.  By Friday night, our little girl was non-stop horking and dry-heaving.  Me and my lily-white colon? We spent Saturday curled up in my bathroom, never more grateful for cold, blissfully chilly lineoleum.  Cozy! Up with the chuck!

Team Chaos gets a cold here and there, but they rarely hit Ragdoll Status.  And man, when they do?  It becomes a tug o' war between Manoj and I over who gets to hold the kid.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Manoj becomes a hardcore Indian mother when his child is sick and will fight me for the right to snuggle that kid back to health.  And with Anjali whimpering "Daddy, my tummy feels better when you hold me", there was no way I was winning this particular battle, so I waved a white flag.  And offered up a small battalion of clean towels in an offering of peace.  Manoj held Anjali all night long while she puked over and over and over again on him.  I stood close by with Clean Clothes.  It all worked out.

Many bloggers have been writing about those things for which they are grateful.  First, I am extremely appreciative of my high-capacity washing machine.  A close runner-up would be my husband.

Listen up, Gentle Reader. He drives me crazy.  I drive him crazy. Some of it is cultural.  Some of it is Man vs. Woman.

Quite a lot of  it is just us.

Sometimes, I hate that we are a bickering, squabbling sort of couple.  Other times, I appreciate that we do not let dark thoughts lie in wait, festering and rotting away the core of our marriage.  I had a friend who never, ever fought with her husband.  Their resentments laid patiently.  Growing roots.  Multiplying. Then, in one grand finale, it all blew up.  Spectacularly.  You could have sold popcorn, folks.

So, on those days when I send pointed texts to my husband to remind him of important things to ensure that I have a written record of that reminder?  I remember that long-defunct marriage of my friends.  A marriage that was long gone before it actually ended.

Yes, I am grateful for my husband.  He is faithful.  He is true.  He is an amazing father.  He will never understand my need for nights out with my friends (something his mother never, ever did for herself.)  I will never understand his need to watch football games when he never, ever roots for a particular team (seriously, why bother!?!)  He will shake his head in pity at my knitting projects, all that "lost" time gone to waste.  I will shake my head at all those hours he spends working, all that "lost" time gone to waste.

The list could go on, but somehow, we meet in the middle.  We make it work. I am quite honest in that marriage is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life.  The constant compromise grates at me.  Christ on toast, folks. Will he ever put his damned dirty socks in one, single location in our house? 

No.  He will not.  But, knowing that I am with a man of such compassion, work ethic and integrity has made these last 10 years worth all of that sock retrieval.

Thank you, Manoj. 

Thank you.